Art + Music = Solstice
The Cleveland Museum of Art sets the stage for the city's hottest party of the year
By Denise Koeth, Image by David Brichford
Nine years in, the Cleveland Museum of Art's annual Solstice event is still an over-the-top, can't-be-missed soiree.
If you're lucky enough to score a ticket to the June 24 event--the party has sold out every year since its inception--be prepared for a cosmopolitan affair that combines cutting-edge live music from global artists, world-renowned art galleries, and food and drinks prepared by an award-winning chef.
"Solstice remains the most unique, ultra cosmopolitan music festival in the city and in this region," says Tom Welsh, the museum’s director of performing arts. "It's an extraordinary night of music and art; a forward-leaning, edgy music festival held inside an art museum."
Created in 2009, Solstice was meant to be a one-time celebration of the opening of the (then-new) East Wing, an early major milestone of the museum's renovation and expansion. The event was such a huge success that museum staff instantly decided to make it a yearly occurrence.
According to the museum, this year's Solstice will feature "two stages packed with forward-looking artists from around the globe: from extraordinary Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez, to mind-bending electronic music of Botany; from RAM, Haiti’s top voodoo-rock ensemble, to Third Coast Percussion playing the music of Steve Reich; from Angolan-Portuguese producer Batida, to the electronic looping mastery of Bayonne, and a late DJ set by modern funk pioneer Dam-Funk."
Aside from this year's music lineup and the menu offered by the museum's own Provenance restaurant and executive chef Douglas Katz, what else is new for 2017?
"There's always a few surprises--we don't want to give away everything," Welsh hints. "Plus, there's always a different exhibition or different rotations going on in the galleries. So while the experience has a similar flavor from year to year, it really is a different experience every year."